If you have been to a DeBono Show any time in the last two years, you have probably seen something we like to call the beat box. It's a really catchy little game we like to play to get the audience warmed up. Some days, It may be my favorite part of the show. When the team is really listening to each other, there are some really hilarious moments, as well as moments that actually sound musically interesting.
For most of the Beat Boxes past, Jaime has been the conductor. Occasionally someone else like Nick will give it a shot, but mostly Jaime is the one who makes the calls. Though, she always looks like she has so much fun that I wanted to give it a try. Last Show was my first time conducting a beat box live and I'd like to share my insights with you... will you let me? Really? Awesome!
What does It take to conduct a beat box?
It takes energy. If you are boring then the people you are conducting are going to be bored and look away from you. Though the team should have their eyes glued to the conductor at all times, sometimes they slip. When that happens it makes it really hard to silently signal what they are supposed to do.
It also takes patience. The most frustrating part of the beat box is waiting for everyone to find a part and build in. We have between seven and nine people usually in our beat boxes and that means it takes seven to nine cycles through the little sound bite to make sure everyone is participating. I also almost always speed up the group the moment everyone is in.
It takes a good ear. Bringing people into the beat box can be difficult if you can't keep rhythm with your body. The group takes the tempo off of not only the most percussive voice, but most importantly the conductor. You have to be able to speed up and slow down your body without getting off beat. This is incredibly important because if one of the voices fails, then you are still the rock of rhythm.
Finally, it takes a little bit of malicious intent. What's the fun of having all of the power if you aren't going to abuse it at all? I mean come on. If you had to power to make people yell, whisper, sing really high and really low, wouldn't you want to use it? Variety is the spice of the beat box and nothing is more fun that watching a team mate push their voice to the edge in the name of comedy.
So now that I've given you a little taste of what goes on in my head while I'm conducting, you should watch some of our awesome beat boxes from this semester! (You can also check out our freeze games and full musicals on our youtube channel).
(only a 4 person beatbox!) Suggestion: Twinkie
Also, If you think it's weird that we've done food suggestions most times... we think so to. You guys are in charge of whatever we do! Remember you can say anything you want. So come to next show with some CRAZY ideas and see if we can handle them. I bet you'll be surprised!
Remember we perform EVERY monday for FREE at 8:00 in the Illini Union. Bring your friends!